When I was younger I imagined that by 26 I would have my dream job, I’d own my own home, I’d be married, I’d have a couple of dogs and maybe thinking about children! I’d get up early and run around the park near to my house (of course, it would always be sunny too!), I’d have home made smoothies for breakfast, work 9-5 in a job I enjoyed every single minute of, I would go out to lunch with my friends who would compliment me on my ever changing new outfits, we would eat salads and drink wine. I’d return home to a house that was always tidy but still homely and spend my evenings with my dogs and husband or out with friends in swanky cocktail bars. And of course, it goes without saying, I would always have money.
Even when I got to University, I figured I would graduate with a first, complete the LPC and walk into a training contract at a firm that does Human Rights, then I’d just simply get a job at the UN or somewhere similar.
Young Dani was a fool! The reality is, I have no idea what I want to do with my life, let alone actually know what my “ideal job” is. I’m in far too much debt to even consider buying a house any time soon and without your own property, pets are out of the question. Running outside is flipping hard work and I don’t live anywhere near a park. It always rains in Manchester, no matter what time of year it is. I drink smoothies, but not the yummy tasty kind, the kind that’s full of green veg and tastes like “green” purely because I don’t eat enough fruit and veg otherwise. I never, ever work 9-5 and I haven’t bought new clothes in months. My flat is always a mess and swanky cocktail bars are overrated anyway.
The thing I’ve learnt is that your fixed plans don’t work. Dreams are good and having goals to work towards give you passion and drive but you’ve just got to go where the road takes you. If, by 26, I had everything that junior me had thought of, there’s no way I would have achieved half of the stuff I did last year – I know one thing’s for sure, there’s no way I would have got to the top of Kilimanjaro if I was pregnant and dragging two french bulldogs behind me! Sure, I don’t run around a nice sunny park every morning but I have run a marathon through the streets of Paris. And, just so there is no confusion, I’d take a beer over a cocktail any day.
It sounds cheesy but being a “grown up” to me is about taking each moment as it comes and doing whatever feels right at the time. Keep challenging yourself and pushing yourself to do more. I still haven’t finished learning, every day brings something new to my life (Yesterday, I learnt from a colleague, that black ice could kill us all – I’m not really sure if this is true but it might be! And today, I learnt why you can’t give blood if you’ve had a transfusion) I’ve just completed a course in events management and I’m three-quarters of the way through a course on Twitter and Facebook Marketing for small businesses. Why? Well, why not? There’s so much in this world to be explored why not open as many doors as possible, you never know when you might need those skills, or those friends.
Last year I read “Yes Man!” by Danny Wallace and, although it’s pretty comical, it has a good underlying idea – just say yes – which is the complete opposite of everything you were told as a child. In fact, I’m quite sure that the“Just say no” campaign was quite successful in the 80’s and 90’s. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say forget that campaign.
If you want to do something, just do it. You might not get another chance. I wish younger me had known these things and I’d been more of a “Yes man” growing up but who knows, things might have worked out differently and I might have been someone entirely different. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a positive outlook and a good read!